Butylparaben is a skin irritant in men and a sensitizer in dermatitis patients. An oral toxicity test revealed effects on the thymus, spleen, and liver damage. Butylparaben resulted in cell proliferation in the stomach of mice, but did not show carcinogenic effects.
Butylparaben has estrogenic and antiandrogenic properties and is known to reduce sperm counts in rats following perinatal exposure. Whether butylparaben exposure can affect other endocrine sensitive endpoints, however, remains largely unknown.
In male offspring, sperm count was significantly reduced at all doses from 10 mg/kg bw/d. Testicular CYP19a1 (aromatase) expression was reduced in prepubertal, but not adult animals exposed to butylparaben. In adult testes, Nr5a1 expression was reduced at all doses, indicating persistent disruption of steroidogenesis.
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